When you’re a well-known writer, publishing critical articles about a brutal regime that runs your county is dangerous. For Syrian writer and journalist Samar Yazbeck, denying her own safety was the only thing she felt she could do.
When things got bad in Syria, Samar started to interview rebels and innocents caught in Bashar al-Assad regime’s atrocities. She wrote about her experiences – from March 25th to July 9th, 2011 – and published them in her latest book “A Woman in the Crossfire: Diaries of the Syrian Revolution,” which came out in August.
Samar’s novel is heavy and horrible – like so much related to the war, but reminds us that Syria is utterly beautiful. She invites the reader into an intensely personal portrayal of the uprising against the ruling minority and wealthy Alawites, an Islamic sect she’s part of. In the months to follow, the conflict turned into a full blown civil war that’s claimed upwards of 28,000 lives.
She embedded herself into the actions of the protesters and defends that the demonstrations were peaceful.
Months before publishing this book, Samar released articles and social media posts about the al-Assad regime while living in Syria. On suspicion of her disloyalty, Samar was detained by the police. They showed her people sitting in their own blood and excrement because they opposed the government. Though she was allowed to go free, the tour acted as a threat to keep silent.
Following the tour, Samar took a low profile, but discovered she couldn’t remain quiet.
“They tarnished my reputation, called ma a traitor,” she told CNN. However, “that was nothing compared to what they did to our people.”
“They are destroying a whole country, killing hundreds, and the world is silent,” she said. “Right now I can’t even think about what happened to me. I feel it was a mere nothing, a nothing.”
Through Samar’s bravery, we get an insider’s view of the Syrian revolution and how it affects the people caught in the crossfire.